I woke this morning at my normal 6:30. I had everything ready to go so I was able relax as I got going. I had a banana and a glass of H2o. Checked the latest MJ news, climbed aboard my bike and headed to the other corner of Cleveland Heights.
I arrived at Beaumont school with lots of time to register and stretch out before the race. I mostly sat by myself pre race before one of my customers and Dane's old boss, Brad came by. It was his first race. We chatted a bit before the kids of Camp Cheerful headed down the track. Every one clapped as the kids made their way to the finish line. This is one of the best pre race traditions in the Cleveland area. I headed to the start in an easy jog and lined up. The weather was great. The heat had backed off this morning and the sky was overcast. I watched the herons and hawks overhead and relaxed. Just before the horn sounded and old prof named Scott lined up with me. He loves folk music, triathlon and running, so we always have lots to talk about. The gun sounded and we made our way across the line slowly. Still chatting for a good two minutes, I remembered what I was doing today. I wished Scott well and got going.
My hope was to hang at 8:00 miles. My legs have been heavy since the marathons and I turned my ankle this past week on a trail run, so I had lite expectations. I figured 50 minutes would be a success, but I was ready to except slower.
As the race turns west on Fairmount you have a slight downhill for about 1 1/2miles. I was moving at about 7:45 very comfortably. No ankle pain and my stride was smooth. At Coventry we turn right right for a block before heading east on Northpark. The return is uphill slightly before becoming steep after Lee road. I know this area as well as any. so I was able to anticipate every thing perfectly. The second loop came and my legs were beginning to feel it. Other runners began to pass. My pace was consistent so I wasn't worried. As I approached the Coventry turn I got caught behind a group of walkers. I was a little discouraged, but I just took the extra moment to run around them. Half the group was in wheel chairs. So it was no big deal. The day was for these kids. Not me. As I headed backup NorthPark I began to fade a little. I was heating up and my insides were churning. I focused on my breath, footing and a runner I had been just behind for 3 miles. At mile 6, Brian (another customer) was calling out times. He yelled "Come on Charlie, run harder". I tried to laugh or smile, as I did appreciate the sentiment, but I am sure it didn't show much. The last .2 miles are uphill. I dug in and pushed through to finish at 50:57 for an average pace of 8:10.
I headed straight to the loo and then for water and fruit. Everyone was gathering on the soccer field. I noticed fellow AquariustribloggerironG and went over to introduce myself. I have known her for about 2 years now online, but this was the first time we had actually met. We talked for a bit and hung for the awards. She had a great 5k finishing 2nd overall. As G took her award it began to pour. She darted for her car and I put on a jacket and my helmet. The rain slowed and I rode home.
Overall I feel the race was successful. I was able to meet my speed goals. The lack of speed and sluggishness I have felt for the past month seems to be behind me. My ankle is a little soar. I iced all day.